GUIDE For Beginners to Ocean Kayaking

Unlike lake kayaking, ocean kayaking is more physically demanding than flat water kayaking.

You are more exposed in the ocean. You will have to deal with: – other vessels – waves – tides – wind

Ocean kayaks are typically between 28″ to 34.5″ wide. The wider width allows better stability.

An ocean kayak is also a v-shape. It can stay in a straight line and cut through the ocean water.

Sit-on or Sit-in

Many prefer sit-in kayaks because the vessel’s lower center provides better stability and control.

For paddles, low-angle blades are better suited  in the ocean. Make sure you have a spare paddle just in case one breaks.

Wetsuit is needed. You can immediately feel the effects of hypothermia, especially when kayaking in 0° water.

A kayak spray skirt goes over the opening of a sit-in kayak. Its purpose is to prevent water splashes.

Water will get into the cockpit if your kayak capsizes. Most expert paddlers have a bilge pump to get water out of their kayak.

Ocean waters are deep, you should always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) or a life jacket.

You will want to pack a signaling whistle for help. Three essential whistle signals: – One whistle:     Attention – Two whistles: Stop – Three whistles:     Emergency

All ocean kayakers need a marine Very High Frequency (VHF) radio to communicate with the Coast Guard.

A map and maritime chart are necessary for safe navigation.

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